For more than 23 000 pupils at over 100 South African schools, going to classes with worn-out shoes or even none at all can make learning more difficult.
This is why concerned staff at insurer Liberty have come together to pledge money towards buying shoes for learners from previously disadvantaged schools, to make sure that the winter chill doesn’t get in the way of their schooling.
Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Liberty Nomaxabiso Matjila, said this initiative is part of Liberty’s annual Winter Shoe Drive in partnership with Bata shoes. Since 2017, the initiative has donated 30 000 pairs of school shoes to underprivileged learners across South Africa.
“Youth Month is a significant time for us at Liberty where we reflect on the freedom we as society enjoy today because of the sacrifices made by the youth of 1976. We applaud our staff for rolling up their sleeves and giving to those who are less fortunate, especially during this time when the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on many of our pockets,” says Matjila.
The shoes are being distributed to learners at primary schools (Grade 1 and Grade 2) in the Eastern Cape; Gauteng; the Free State; Limpopo; Mpumalanga; the Western Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal.
The initiative is part of Liberty’s commitment to ensure positive education outcomes for the leaders of tomorrow. “Liberty’s impact on society is built on the foundation of education because it offers young people the opportunity to be included and participate in the development and growth of our economy,” said Matjila.
Liberty also launched #DriveHope in 2020 which focuses on assisting those in need through what it describes as random acts of kindness. In doing this, Liberty has already assisted more than 5000 people, having paid out over R1 million to help people who needed financial assistance, care-packages, food parcels and school supplies.
“At Liberty, we have a culture of rolling up our sleeves and being in it with our communities. Doing things like this is our way of helping to build the positive society we would all like to be a part of. As a company, we believe our impact on society and our standing as a responsible corporate citizen is defined by our efforts to address financial inclusion,” Matjila says.